A FOOTBALL team have donated their football boots to disadvantaged school pupils.

Players from the Accrington Stanley first team have donated several pairs of boots to pupils from Blackburn Central High School.

The school has a high percentage of disadvantaged children who want to play football but struggle to afford the boots required play competitive 11-a-side football.

The club were contacted by Mr Tiarnan, P.E teacher at BCHS, through the club’s groundsman Martyn ‘Buzzer’ Cook.

He said: “Buying football boots can be quite a big outlay for some of the families at our school.

“What inspired it was that we had 45 kids out playing football fixtures one afternoon and out all of those we had to beg, steal and borrow about 28 pairs of boots for them to play, occasionally we would have to make substitutions based on the kids shoe sizes.

“It was less than ideal and we desperately needed to get hold of some.”

“I asked Buzzer more out of hope than expectation, but he came through and the lads donated several pairs of boots, we can’t thank everybody at the club enough for that.

“We’ve asked a couple of clubs in the past, who are possibly a little bit better off financially than Accrington and they haven’t been able to help us, so for them to help us out speaks volumes about type of club Stanley are, it’s fantastic.”

A group of children from BCHS visited the club at their home ground, the Wham stadium, to thank the players and watch them train.

Mr Tiarnan said the donated boots have already been put to good use at the school and hopes that the children’s visit to Stanley can help inspire some of his students to greater things.

“My Year 9 team got to wear some of them for the first time in their last game.

“It allowed them to step out onto the pitch with a bit of pride in themselves and not feeling like they’re worse than anybody else.

“They felt good about themselves and you could see the difference it made to their performances.

“We have a few really academic children, some disadvantaged and some who are really struggling.

“Hopefully coming here will show the lads where hard work can take you and inspire them to push themselves to achieve what they want in life.”